San Diego Shark Sightings

San Diego Shark Sightings Featured Image

Seeing how I have been homebound during this unprecedented worldwide quarantine (I am sure you can relate), I had the time to do a bit of shark research. I have always wondered how often sharks are seen off the coast of San Diego. Through the years, I have heard rumors, but seeing that I had a bunch of time on my hands, I set out to find all that I could about San Diego shark sightings and encounters that happen off the coastline.

Sharks have always fascinated me ever since I was a little girl. In fact, my very first scientific report was on the hammerhead shark in fourth grade.

hammerhead shark san diego shark sightings

There is something so powerful and alluring about sharks that tug deep at your primal soul. The coldness of the eyes and the methodic tail movements that propel them through the water always captures my attention and imagination every time. I mean, just the fact that sharks have been around for over 400 million years, blows me away!

But, I digress.

My mind was running wild while reading over all of the fascinating shark encounter reports. It was a welcome reprieve to get away from all of the chaos that is happening in the world right now.

So, I thought, why not document the various shark sightings/ encounters for San Diego County, beach by beach?  It would make for a great addition to my website, as well as for my curiosity.  

Sad News From Santa Cruz, California

While I was writing this article, something truly tragic happened off the coast of Northern California at 1:30  pm on May 11.

On the northern end of Monterey Bay, Ben Kelly,  26-years-old, was attacked and killed by a shark while surfing. The tragedy took place 100 yards  (91 meters) from shore off Sand Dollar Beach at Manresa State Beach, Santa Cruz.

Kelly was surfing with a friend, who stated that they were able to swim back to shore, but they could not stop the bleeding.

It was also noted that this area is notorious for juvenile great white shark sightings and is referred to as “Shark Park.”

But a juvenile did not attack Ben, as experts reported the shark to have been larger than 10 feet.

What Type of Sharks Are Found off the Coast of San Diego County?

Surfing Terramar San Diego Shark Sightings
Terramar Beach

Before I get into all of the critical shark sighting data that I have uncovered, I thought I would first off make a list of possible sharks that are seen in and around San Diego waters.

To go one step further, I have separated them into two groups, Coastal, and Pelagic.  Down below are the definitions given to simplify the difference between the two.

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Are Any San Diego Beaches Open Yet? (Updated May 2)

san diego beaches open featured image

Every morning that I have been waking up this past month, I have to keep reminding myself that this is not a dream, almost the entire World is on lockdown. The first question that comes to mind every day is- are any San Diego beaches open yet?

North Crystal pier surfers san diego beaches open
Pacific Beach

It has been a surreal experience, and I am quite confident that all of you reading this, concur. I am not going to lie. The inhibition of travel to the coast hit me the hardest, and I even work in the restaurant business.

I lost my job temporarily (we hope) on March 15. Also, losing my job didn’t hit me as hard as not being able to go to the beach, or in other words, being told to stay in my home with restricted travel limits. Every day, I would scour the internet to find any positive moves to correct this disastrous decision to cut off the coast to the population. You can read up-to-date information here, which includes linked sources.

Well, enough of my rantings. Are any of the San Diego beaches open yet? Let’s take a look at what I have found.

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Grunion Run 2020 Schedule

It has taken me a bit of time to tell you that the grunion, Southern California’s infamous fish, mating season is upon us! Why? Well, at the time of this writing, all the San Diego County beaches were closed; thus, all citizens were barred from experiencing the coastline, so I hesitated. The Department of Fish and Wildlife even took the chart off its website. Their reasoning was not to encourage people to come to the beach and witness this phenomenon. Down below, I present to you the San Diego grunion run scheduled for May- September, with the anticipation that the beaches will be open on May 1st (fingers crossed).

First, I will give you a little background information on why this is such a spectacular event, followed by my recommendation on the best beaches in San Diego would be ideal for witnessing the grunion mating dance.

What is a Grunion Run, and Why is it a Big Deal?

Single Grunion spawning beach sand
Wikimedia Commons

The grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) is a type of smelt which is small, silvery and is about the size of a sardine. These fish are only found off the coast of Southern California, from San Luis Obispo down to Northern Baja California.

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Live Streaming Beach Cams

live streaming beach cams featured image

In this time of unprecedented beach restrictions across the globe, I thought it would be the right time to do a little more research concerning being able to experience the beach while we all “shelter-in-place.” How do you ask? Well, I am sure that the above title gives it away. Down below, I have found some of the best live streaming beaches cams out there.

So why did I choose these particular beaches? No apparent reason. I would be happy looking at a small wave pool at this point. But, no, really, I chose these particular beaches because of the aesthetics and how they made me feel. A few of these webcams have ad’s, but you only have to wait 15 seconds until it is refreshed again.

I hope that you enjoy them all, just as much as I do. On a side note, I have also included a few other beaches from all around the world. Which one will you find the most exciting? Have a look!

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All San Diego City Beaches Are Closed

San Diego Beaches closed featured image

I can not believe that I am writing these words, but all San Diego city beaches are closed to the public as a precaution to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Can you believe what you are reading? I keep thinking that I am going to wake up and this is all a bad dream.

Here is a timeline of events that have been occurring in San Diego County, starting on March 15 to “flatten-the curve,” to discourage large gatherings and to maintain social distancing.

San Diego Beach Closures –Timeline of Events

beach closure timeline california san diego

  • Sunday, March 15- all restaurants and bars are to be closed until April 28.
  • Tuesday, March 17- the State of California closes all state campgrounds and beach parking lots, but beaches, trails, and non-campground areas are still open.
  • Thursday, March 19- Governor Gavin Newsom declares a ‘shelter-in-place’ order for the entire state of California.
  • Friday, March 20- the cities of San Diego, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar close all parks, beach parking lots, and boat launch ramps. Cabrillo National Monument was closed but stated that it would open back up on April 10. All outdoor areas and trails are still open. (Update- Everything closed until further notice.)
  • Monday, March 23- due to lack of social distancing and gathering of large groups at several beaches in San Diego on the previous weekend, the mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer calls for the closing of all San Diego City-owned lakes, beaches, boardwalks, parks, and trails. The cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar, follow San Diego and do the same.
  • Tuesday, March 24, the Port of San Diego officially closes all parks, trails, parking lots, and boat launch ramps of San Diego Bay. Imperial Beach officially closes all if its beaches.

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2019 Year In Review Photo Gallery

2019 Year in Review Large featured image

Anytime I am on the coast, I am happy! How about you? Down below are a few of my San Diego beach highlights. Will you join me as I go over my 2019 year in review? I sure had fun remembering all of the great places I visited, and as always, I have plenty of photos to share!

I have written about many of these beaches previously, so click on any link for additional information.

Ready? Let’s Go!


January San Diego Beach Adventures in 2019

observation deck Buena Vista Lagoon 2019 Year in Review

 Buena Vista Lagoon-Buccaneer Beach-Oceanside Harbor

My oldest daughter Maya and I went to investigate the western section of Buena Vista Lagoon in Oceanside on the 15th of January. It was a gloomy day, but any day on the coast is a good day in my book!

First, we were able to take a quick walk around the nature trail.

We also popped into the nature center to look around for a bit.  Later, we crossed the street to see the section of the lagoon behind the Saint Malo Beach community that I have never seen before.

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San Diego Summer Fun- 2019

Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Panoramic

For as long as I can remember, summer has always been my favorite season! It could be that my Birthday is on July 1st, but to be honest, I think it is more than that. You see, my favorite place on this Earth is the beach. So can you think of a better time to visit the beach but in summer? Me neither! Join my daughters and me and see where we explored during our San Diego Summer of 2019!

The Best  Summer Possible!

Heermans gulls encinitas moonlight beach
Heerman’s gulls on Moonlight Beach

This San Diego Summer I wanted to make it super special because it was the last summer with my girls before they are both off to college.

My eldest daughter has been in college for two years already and came home for the summer, but my youngest was just about to start. I have been a stay at home Mom for over twenty years, so the thought of not have any children home puts the panic of God into me.

However, I was not going to let my anxiety of missing my kids get in the way of us having the best San Diego summer possible.

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Summer 2019-San Diego Surf Camps For Kids

surfing Pacific Beach San Diego Surf Camps

As we inch closer to the summer of 2019, many parents are looking for a summer surf camp for their kids. Well, I have done a bit of research for you by preparing a list of all of the San Diego surf camps offered in San Diego County.

I will first state general information regarding what age groups are covered, rates, student to instructor ratios, as well as any other additional information that will help you find just the right summer San Diego surf camp for your child. Please always refer to each business website for more in-depth information.

Let’s now have a look at what I found. I will first start in North County San Diego and finish down at Imperial Beach, which is right next to the USA/Mexico border.

San Diego County Map San Diego Surf Camps

North County San Diego Surf Camps-So Much Diversity!

North County San Diego consists of San Onofre, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar. Let’s have a look at what is offered.

Endless Summer Surf Camp-San Onofre State Beach

Trail Four Lifeguard Tower San Onofre State Beach
Trail Four Lifeguard Tower

The very first summer San Diego surf camp that I will be starting with is unique. You see, Endless Summer Surf Camp not only has a 5-day long day surf camp, but it also offers the option of staying and camping overnight.

Overnight students will camp out in tents up above Trails Beach at the San Onofre Bluff Campground which is located on the southern border of San Onofre State Beach off of Old Pacific Highway.

Six trails connect the coast to the San Onofre Bluff Campground, and Endless Summer Surf Camp is located right next to the beginning of Trail 4.

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Best San Diego Hikes on the Coast

Encinitas Bluff Tree Best San Diego Hikes

San Diego County has some of the best coastlines on the entire coast of California. From the rugged seashore, with towering sandstone cliffs found in North County San Diego, all the way down to the open estuaries, and sandy beaches located in South County San Diego. Today I would like to list you some of my favorite San Diego hikes that you too can experience on the coast of San Diego.

All San Diego hikes listed are to be taken only with a negative low tide. Please make sure to check out the tide chart before embarking on your adventure, as some of these walks are dangerous if the tide comes upon you. A good rule of thumb would be to allow a couple of hours before the high tide comes back in. Remember, a very high tide always follows a really low tide.

One more thing. I have written extensively on all of these sites previously, and have linked each post appropriately, so click on the underlined links for more information.

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Five Best San Diego Beaches You Must Visit!

South Ponto Best San Diego Beaches

Do you love the beach as much as me? Have you ever been to San Diego? With over 70 miles of coastline, San Diego has some of the most ravishing beaches in the world!

Well, today I would like to give you my shortlist of the five best San Diego beaches that you have to visit if you are ever down here!

I have written extensively about each area prior, so for more information click on the appropriate link. I have also included a short video for each site to help you get a ‘real’ feel for each beach. Please have a look!

Top 5 Best San Diego Beaches

San Diego County Map Google Map

I would first like to state, that I am covering the entire San Diego County, (that is where the 70 miles of coast refers to.) I will be listing exciting things to do at each location.

Ready? Let’s go!


Trestles- San Onofre State Beach

Trestle Beach San Dunes Best San Diego Beaches

3929 S El Camino Real, San Clemente

Video of Trestles

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Five Hidden Gems In San Diego

Del Mar Dog Beach Hidden Gems In San Diego

I have wanted to write this post for quite some time. Ever since I started this website, I have found some gorgeous hidden gems in San Diego while out in the ‘field’ doing research, and I am here to share!

San Diego Hidden Gems? 

So what do I mean by a hidden gem? Hidden in plain sight might be a better way to put it Not much is know about it. Maybe locals are keen, but the average San Diegan and the new-to-town tourists have no idea.

Coastal Hidden Gems in San Diego

Also, today I am going to be concentrating just on the coastline of San Diego County- seventy miles of coast that stretches all of the ways down to the border of Mexico.

Please click on any photo to see a larger version and I have also included a video featuring each hidden gem in San Diego.

Let’s have a look at the top five places that I have on my list so far, shall we?

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List of San Diego Beach Camping Sites

San Elijo State Beach San Diego Beach Camping

Here I present to you a list of San Diego beach camping sites. I will be starting up north and making my way down south. I have included RV camping sites as well.  With San Diego having over 70 miles of coastline, I have found for you all of the spots where you can experience the beach up close and personal, be it in a tent or an RV!

Each address is linked to a google map as well as an appropriate website so you may get more information.

Let’s have a look!

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Top Ten Best San Diego Tide Pools

Terramar Tide Pools San Diego Tide Pools

With over 70 miles of coastline, San Diego tide pools are not as common as one would expect. You see, it all depends on the topography of the shore. Here I would like to present to you the top 10 San Diego tidepools. I will be starting in North County San Diego and finally will be ending at the most southern location in Point Loma.

San Diego County Google Map San Diego Tide Pools

I have linked each address to a Google Map to make it easier for you. Also, please click on each photo to see a larger version.

As a rule, you should always check out the tidal chart before heading down to the beach. The best time to experience the tide pools is during low tide.  Anything below a +1 is an opportune time to visit. If you can go during a negative tide, now that would be far superior, but most of those only happen in the wintertime.

I have also included a pamphlet, courtesy of the Cabrillo National Monument, which will help you identify some of the tide pool specimens. Have a look and print it out!

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Dog Friendly Beaches in San Diego

Dog Beach OB Sign Dog Friendly Beaches in San Diego

Say, are you looking for dog-friendly beaches in San Diego? As a dog owner, there is no better feeling than sharing the outdoors together! And what better place to explore than at the beach!

Here I would like to present to you a comprehensive list of all the dog-friendly beaches in San Diego. I will be covering the entire San Diego County, first starting up north and making my way to the U.S./ Mexico Border.

I have added a # to specify which location is leash free.

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Black’s Beach The Naked Truth

Blacks Beach Trail Blacks Beach San Diego

I remember when I was working at a coffee shop in San Diego’s Hotel Circle while in college, the number one question that the tourists would ask was, “Where is La Jolla,” followed by, “How did you get to Black’s Beach?”

Ok, so why so many inquiries?

Well,  the answer is that Black’s Beach is one of the largest public nude beaches in the United States. Just thinking about seeing naked people made me uncomfortable when I was young, so going there at that time was out of the question.

Fast forward twenty-five years later and I end up taking my two teenage daughters there!

Did I also mention that the surf is phenomenal?

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